Maintaining optimism, peace and happiness
From Ramadan to Eid and back to Ramadan
Celebration of the revelation of the Divine Message
What Is Eid? As we know that the very first verse which was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) was in the cave on the mountain of Hira. Jibreel came down and said ‘Iqra’. We tell this story to our children and youth as the beginning of the revelation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was forty years old when he received the first revelation and guess what? It was in Ramadan! So Eid is a celebration of this great blessing which we received from Allah Almighty to humanity and it comes after Ramadan, after fasting for twenty nine or thirty days every year.
Ramadan comes with a new flavour each year
Regardless of which month Ramadan is each year, (as the lunar calendar is not the same as the solar calendar and is not fixed, it moves back eleven days every year and comes back full circle every thirty three years) the beauty of Ramadan is that that it always brings a fresh challenge depending on the season: Summer, winter, autumn and spring. By breaking the boredom, it helps you discover yourself and your qualities. Each season has a different flavour and that is something we all like. Every year is new. Days can be longer or shorter. It doesn’t ’t matter as long as you have a clear aim that you are fasting for the sake of Allah Almighty, you gain inner satisfaction.
Towards the end of Ramadan everyone seeks Laylat ul Qadr which has been written about extensively. In Surah Qadr, Allah Almighty mentions that it is the Night of Peace salamun Hiya hatta matla il fajr, ‘peace it is until the appearance of dawn’ (97:5) Thus we strive throughout the blessed month to achieve a status of peace both inner and outer peace. We hope that Allah Almighty will bless us with peace in our lives, souls and families and that we can feel this peace throughout the year.
The 11 month Battery recharge
Last week I celebrated Eid with the Lloyds Muslim Network group and I observed that just as Muslims like the environment, we are into rechargeable batteries. Ramadan is the time for charging own spiritual batteries and we have the special battery which lasts for eleven months and no one can beat it. You can survive for the next eleven months with this very well charged battery. Ramadan is this booster which gives you that wealth of imaan which you can share and enjoy.
The two Eids celebrate the two ends of the revelation
The second Eid comes after Hajj, after the completion of the Day of Arafat which is the completion of Hajj. This is Eid ul Adha. On that day the Prophet (peace be on him) was on his camel and he received this very last verse from the Quran from Jibreel. It was Friday, the revelation was ‘This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My grace on you and accepted for you Islam as a way of life.’ (5:3) So the first Eid is linked to the beginning of the revelation and the second Eid is linked to the completion of the revelation.
In addition to celebrating the revelation, Eid is the celebration of our achievements. In the first Eid the achievement is the completion of our ibadah during Ramadan, that for 29/30 days we were able to fast these long hours with the support of Allah Almighty, not because of our training or muscles or sessions at the gym but because of the grace of Allah Almighty and His support.
Similarly in Eid al Adha you celebrate the achievement of performing your ibadah during Hajj. So fasting in Ramadan and performing Hajj are both amongst the main pillars of Islam. Fasting in Ramadan is the third pillar and Hajj being the fifth pillar. (There may be some differences in some narrations on the sequence with Zakah being before or after). Nevertheless they are the pillars of Islam.
State of happiness
On Eid, the Prophet (peace be on him) was always cheerful and he had a smile on his face throughout the year. We can read his description in the book Shamail (Biography of the Prophet) Shamail e Tirimdhi or ash-Shifa by Alqadi Iyad and many others. I recommend the recent translation of “Our master Muhammad the messenger of Allah” by Shaykh Abdullah Siraj (Rahimahullah) which is two volumes.
The Prophet always had a smile on his face, kana Sal Allahu alayhi wasalam, daimal bishr. In Arabic bishr is good news, and hence the one who is delivering good news is mubashir. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was always an optimist. We know the experience of optimism at work. An optimistic person always leads the way and a pessimistic person always spoils the project, so avoid pessimism.
The value of a smile
The value of a smile cannot be underestimated. Our Prophet (peace be on him) always had a smile on his face. And if the smile on a person’s face is genuine, it is contagious. When you smile, people can’t help but smile back at you. When you have a fake smile people see through it.
Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) had a smile on his face all the time and when people looked at him they also smiled. His smile was a reflection of his internal status – the deep satisfaction in his heart towards his creator Allah Almighty.
Keeping the transformative power of the Quran in our lives for 365 days
The Quran that we celebrate on two Eids has to fill our hearts and then we will see the change in ourselves. If we get the internal right, the external follows. When it is corrupt inside, the external is a mess.
Let’s keep the momentum after Ramadan by reciting the Quran, reflecting on the Quran and activating it in our lives. Recite, reflect, activate are three elements to carry forward. Keep connecting with and completing the Quran. Read the Quran daily even if it is two pages. Reflect on these two pages. Read at least one ayah in translation and put it into practise.
For example when you read Alhamdu lillahi rabbil alameen, what’s the point of action? Be a person of gratitude and show your gratitude to Allah Almighty.
If you are reading an ayah about nifaq ( hypocrisy) avoid any attributes related to nifaq and be a genuine person.
Inshallah we are launching a new program called Quran 365. Every day you will have a reflection based on two pages of the Quran. You recite it and we will guide you to the reflection and the action. So just like your Five a Day to keep your body healthy, you can take one thing from the Quran per day and put it into action and keep your spirit healthy. Then Insha’Allah you will maintain the blessings of Ramadan for 365 days bi Idhnillahi ta’ala.
May Allah Almighty enable us to be people of cheerfulness and happiness, optimism and good character. Ameen.
Talk delivered at Norton Rose Fulbright on Friday 28th June by Shaykh Haytham Tamim.
Transcribed by Samina Saroya
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